To the eye, there’s little in a winter garden that can compare to spring and summer’s binge-worthy drama of growing, blooming and buzzing. Only the most serious gardeners (or those in warmer climates) can keep the growing going outside, using cold frames, fabric or plastic tunnels, and other techniques.
But there are smaller joys to be had. The trees’ bare branches make for beautiful silhouettes, and better views of birds and sunsets. Landscape photographer Larry Lederman, author of the recent book “Garden Portraits,” recommends getting to know your garden better in the winter, when “everything is bare and you can see the bones of the landscape.”
More significantly, gardens remind us that winter is just one season in a cycle. Death is everywhere in a garden, all year round, but it makes rebirth possible. The species keep going.
“The return of spring each year can be endlessly relied on, and in (plants) not dying when we die, we have a sense of goodness going forward,” Sue Stratis-Smith writes in her new book, “The Well-Gardened Mind: The Restorative Power of Nature.”
“This,” she says, “is the garden’s most enduring consolation.’’
Of course, the constancy of the seasons these days can’t be taken for granted as in the past. So winter is also a good time for reevaluating our own yard-size battles against climate change. We can start or continue composting. And we can research services, products and methods to help make next year’s garden — and those beyond — more sustainable.